An association of travel agents has asked the West Bengal government to reconsider its decision to suspend passenger flights to the eastern metropolis of six cities with high prevalence of Covid-19 cases until August 31.
Chairman of the Travel Agents’ Federation of India (TAFI), East, Anil Punjabi, has written to Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Additional Chief Secretary, Home & Hill Affairs and PA Depts, Government of West Bengal, asking the state to reconsider the flight suspension order.
The embargo on the arrival of flights to Kolkata Airport from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad was initially imposed for a period of 14 days from July 6th.
Citing the rising of Covid-19 cases from these cities, the West Bengal government asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation to suspend flights from these cities to Calcutta from July 6th.
The ban initially lasted until July 19, before being extended to July 31 and then to August 15.
The restriction was further extended till August 31.
The restriction was further extended in a letter to State Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, the eastern chapter of the Travel Agents’ Federation of India, said West Bengal residents stranded in six cities and business travelers will benefit if direct flights resume.
“We ask for your consent to resume operations in accordance with the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) of our state,” said Chairman of the Travel Agents’ Federation of India, East, Chairman Anil Punjabi, in the letter.Advertisement
The association also proposed the introduction of a rapid antigen test for all passengers at the airport.
“This is not the time to go overseas. Flights with stranded people, students, and business people from other parts of the country can now work,” as per the report of PTI.
The association asked the state government for assistance in restructuring the travel and tourism industry, saying, “We must continue to update our guidelines, as we have done with containment zones and the resumption of international charter flights.”
Domestic flights to various tourist locations can be phased in as the current situation improves, he said.
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